Woolston Eyes Monthly Sightings

2014-02-16

Again, there was no ringing onNo1 bed during the week. On No3 bed Mike Miles was out on the Wednesday and on the Saturday he was joined by Kieran Foster, Margaret Rawlins, Mike Baron and Chris Piner. Forty birds were caught over the two sessions with 21 new including 3 Bullfinches.

Sightings included 1 Snipe and 160 Lapwings on No1 bed while on No3 bed single Whooper Swan, Marsh Harrier, Barn Owl, Green Sandpiper were seen while up to 5,000 Starlings roosted.

Submitted by: Dave Riley

 

2014-02-09

Again, there was no ringing onNo1 bed during the week. On No3 bed Mike Miles was out on the Wednesday and on the Saturday he was joined by Kieran Foster, Margaret Rawlins, Mike Baron and Chris Piner. Forty birds were caught over the two sessions with 21 new including 3 Bullfinches.

Sightings included 1 Snipe and 160 Lapwings on No1 bed while on No3 bed single Whooper Swan, Marsh Harrier, Barn Owl, Green Sandpiper were seen while up to 5,000 Starlings roosted.

Submitted by: Dave Riley

 

2014-02-02

There was no ringing on No1 bed during the week, but the team on No3 bed were out on the Saturday morning, when they caught 44 birds with the 15 new including a Great Spotted Woodpecker and 3 Bullfinches. Sightings during the session there included a Barn Owl and a Fieldfare.

Other sightings included 1 Crossbill over No4 bed, 1 Green Woodpecker and 6 Snipe on No1 bed, 3 Woodcocks, 5 Snipe, 3 Redpolls, 1 Peregrine, 650 Teal, 9 Little Grebes (in a single flock beyond Bollin Point), 15 Reed Buntings, 7 Yellowhammers, 35 Stock Doves, 8 Meadow Pipits, 1,000 Starlings (coming from the No.3 bed roost), 1 Grey Wagtail, 100 Greenfinches, 11 Buzzards, female Marsh Harrier, 3 Sparrowhawks and 1 Kestrel.

Submitted by: Dave Riley

 

2014-02-28

No.3 bed Starling roost has more than doubled over-night, with an estimated 140,000 going in tonight - really spectacular!. The Pied Wagtail roost held c.100 birds, the two drake Ruddy Ducks were still present, the regular Barn Owl was hunting the meadow and a Woodcock flushed nearby.

Cheers David (with Al and Simon Warford, Melanie Beckford and Sue Haddock)

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2014-02-28

Last night’s No.3 bed Starling roost was still holding c.60,000 birds, with several Sparrowhawks coming in to hunt. 30 Pied Wagtails also came in to roost and the two drake Ruddy Ducks were still present.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

Dave Hackett

2014-02-27

A relatively quiet day but still plenty of interest. At the eastern end of the reserve I flushed a Woodcock whilst a pair of Little Grebes were trilling on one of the No.1 bed pools. The Black-headed Gull colony on No.3 bed totalled over 800 and a further 400 were elsewhere on the reserve. Tufted Duck numbers were down slightly but still exceeded 400. On No.4 bed was a flock of 24 Goldfinch. Photo; Willow on Butchersfield Tip

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

2014-02-26

No.3 bed Starling roost much reduced tonight - down to c.60,000. Other sightings of interest included 4 Water Rails (2 seen and 2 heard), 2 Snipe and 1 Tawny Owl (calling)

Cheers David (with Brian Ankers, David Spencer and Alan Patterson)

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

Alan Debenham

2014-02-24

Swirling starling flock at 17:30

Submitted by: Alan Debenham

 

David Bowman

2014-02-25

The No.3 bed Starling roost was back up towards an estimated 150,000 tonight (pending some more laborious grid-counting of photographs to confirm numbers) with Barn Owl, Marsh Harrier and a couple of Water rails also present.

Photo of a small slice of the Starling flock.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2014-02-24

The No.3 bed Starling roost is still holding together, with maybe 120,000 present tonight. 150 Redwings and a dozen Pied Wagtails also dropped in and 2 drake Ruddy Ducks were showing well.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2014-02-23

The No.3 bed Starling roost held an conservatively estimated 150,000 birds tonight. Fantastic!

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

David Bowman

2014-02-22

On a warm, Spring-like morning we covered the Reserve, from No.3 bed as far as the lane beyond Rixton Paddocks. Some nice sightings included: 1 Goosander (at Bollin Point), 1 Peregrine, 2 Yellowhammers, 1 Green Woodpecker, 6 Siskins, 3 Redpolls, 7 Wigeon, 80 Fieldfares, 6 Redwings, 5 Song Thrushes, 2 Little Grebes, 35 Pochard, 13 Buzzards, 3 Sparrowhawks, 1 Kestrel and 5 Reed Buntings.

Photo of the view eastwards from Rixton Paddocks towards Warburton Toll Bridge

Cheers David (with David Spencer, Brian Baird, Les Jones and Ste Dodd)

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

David Bowman

2014-02-21

The No.3 bed roost is currently growing nightly. I reckon a minimum of 40,000 birds were present, with 4 Sparrowhawks and a Barn Owl attending the roost. Two Woodcock were flushed as I was leaving the bed.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

David Bowman

2014-02-21

Photo of a drake Shoveler from No.3 bed

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

David Bowman

2014-02-20

A really spectacular pre-dusk visit to No.3 bed with the Starling roost having doubled in size to at least 20,000 birds. Attendant predators put on a great show with a male Peregrine, a Kestrel and 4 Sparrowhawks all repeatedly cutting throught the swirling mass. Later on when the light had nearly gone Barn and Tawny Owls slid in to join the feast. 30 Snipe and 16 Pied Wagtails also came in to roost, just as Jupiter and its moons began to show well.

Photo of about a quarter of the roosting Starlings

If you want to see a video of the spectacular Starling roost forming click on the ‘Articles’ tab at the bottom of this page, open ‘Starlings at Woolston Eyes February 2014’ and click on the link which is highlighted.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

Dave Hackett

2014-02-18

An almost spring-like morning with warm sunshine for my weekly walk around the reserve. Plenty of birds were in song and reserve-wide totals included 56 Robin, 27 Dunnock, 11 Chaffinch and 10 Song Thrush (all singing males). At the viaduct a pair of Peregrines were calling noisily, displaying and passing a small item of prey. Great-crested Grebes have increased to 17 with a pair displaying at the Weir. Two Sparrowhawks were on No.1 bed whilst on No.3 bed the female Marsh Harrier was showing well and causing havoc amongst the waterfowl and newly arrived Black-headed Gulls which totalled about 300. Amongst the birds flushed by the Harrier were 30 Snipe, about 400 Teal and over 150 Tufted Duck. The reserve total for this species was 618, slightly down on last week’s count. The Loop of No.4 bed is looking very promising now the contractors have left and 11 Shelduck and 14 Canada Geese were present together with over a hundred Black-headed Gulls.By this time the weather had deteriorated and a few sharp showers occurred during the afternoon. Photo; Storm clouds over the Sandpit Pond.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

2014-02-15

Wildfowl Count day saw us covering Nos. 1,2 and 3 beds, as well as Bollin Point. Totals of interest included: 2 Bramblings, 15 Pink-footed Geese, 13 Snipe, 12,000 Starlings at the No.3 bed roost, 700 Lapwings, 620 Tufted Ducks, 24 Bullfinches, 1 Willow Tit, 1 Redpoll, 250 Teal, 125 Greenfinches and 70 Chaffinches.

Cheers David (with David Spencer, Al Warford, Paul Hazlehurst, Les Jones, Sue Haddock and Ste Dodd)

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2014-02-13

Wildfowl were plentiful today and there were 54 Pochard and 260 Tufted Duck on No.3 bed. Reserve-wide totals included 785 Tufted Duck (by far the highest count of the winter), 34 Gadwall, 19 Shelduck, 8 Great-crested Grebe and 6 Little Grebe. A Water Rail was calling an No.3 bed and 4 Snipe were on the mud on No.2 bed. Black-headed Gulls totalled 500 with 200 on the flooded fielsd to the south of Butchersfield Tip and about 20 on the water on No.3 bed. The contractors have finished work on the loop and 2 Shelduck have taken up residence there together with small numbers of Teal.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

2014-02-12

Went onto No.3 bed at first light to check on the Starling roost, which has now swelled to an estimated 12,000 birds. Was rewarded with a female Marsh Harrier coming out of a roost, a Barn Owl hunting the South Meadow and a single drake Ruddy Duck in front of the Morgan Hide.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2014-02-11

Walked down to the flooded fields to the south of Butcherfield Tip. (access via the Trans-Pennine Trail to the south of the canal) There were 300 Black-headed Gulls, 100 Lapwing and 16 Golden Plover. A very pleasant afternoon with snow visible on Kinder Scout (?the first of the winter)

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

David Spencer

2014-02-09

Photo of last week’s Whooper Swan on No.3 bed - taken by David Spencer

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2014-02-09

A brief visit to No.3 bed this morning. I was fortunate to see the over-wintering Green Sandpiper land in front of the Sybil Hogg Hide. It stayed for about ten minutes before flying off. Large flocks of Lapwing were circling the bed, totalling about 400. They looked as if they would land but only about 30 did so briefly before the flocks left the site. 39 Pochard were present and a further four at the weir.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

Paul Hazlehurst

2014-02-08

Golden Dawn on no3 bed

Submitted by: Paul Hazlehurst

 

2014-02-08

The morning started well on No.3 bed with 5,000 Starlings and a Marsh Harrier coming out of their roosts and plenty of the usual species around the feeders or on the water. We then went on to No.4 bed to meet the contractor and sign off the work on the reed bed for this year - which is looking fantastic for waders later in the year! En route we had a little flurry of excitement when a thrush-sized bird with a white rump flew across the track. We re-located it briefly, as it flew back across the track and into cover. Later, as the two Daves and I were talking to the contractor, it was seen again along with another bird, seen only by Ste - “Blackbird-sized, blackish above and red underneath” which we couldn’t re-find!

Cheers David (with Dave Steel, David Spencer, Paul Hazlehurst, Brian Baird and Ste Dodd)

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2014-02-06

Male Marsh Harrier spotted on No.4 Bed Thursday 6th by Chris Lyndon, also Chris thought the same bird possibly flew over on Wednesday 5th.

Submitted by: John Blundell

 

2014-02-04

David Spencer has just reported a single Whooper Swan on No.3 bed.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2014-02-01

Another highly enjoyable, sunny morning at Woolston. Starting with breakfast on No.3 bed and then walking eastward from No.1 bed, as far as Bollin Point and beyond to Rixton Paddocks. Highlights were: 1 Barn Owl, 3 Woodcocks,5 Snipe, 3 Redpolls, 1 Peregrine, 9 Little Grebes (in a single flock beyond Bollin Point), 15 Reed Buntings, 7 Yellowhammers, 35 Stock Doves, 8 Meadow Pipits, 1,000 Starlings (coming from the No.3 bed roost), 1 Grey Wagtail, 100 Greenfinches, 11 Buzzards, 3 Sparrowhawks and 1 Kestrel.

Photo of a Lesser Redpoll from the Morgan Hide (re-posted at a morre appropriate size!)

Cheers David (with David Spencer, Les Jones, Paul Hazlehurst and Brian Baird)

Submitted by: David Bowman